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Spigold apple tree

Spigold is listed in the RHS Plants for Pollinators
  • Picking season: Late
  • Self-fertility: Not self-fertile
  • Pollination group: 4

As the name suggests, Spigold is related to Northern Spy and Golden Delicious, and it seems to combine the best characteristics of both varieties. It is a large orange/red flushed apple, with a crisp flesh.

The excellent flavor and texture clearly come from Golden Delicious, but there are extra dimensions coming from the Northern Spy side, which make the flavor far more interesting than Golden Delicious.

Spigold apple trees for sale

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  • Dwarf 1-year bare-root tree $37.95
    Mature height: 6ft-9ft after 10 years
    Dwarf rootstock

How to grow

Spigold is a triploid variety, so will not pollinate other apples. However its triploid nature helps make it reasonably disease-resistant.

Whilst it is much easier to grow than Northern Spy, not all that variety's unruly growth habits have been eliminated. The main issue is that Spigold has a strong upright habit, which is not ideal for fruitful growth or limb strength, so try to encourage the new shoots to spread sideways rather than upwards whilst they are still young and pliable.

Spigold retains the Northern Spy tendency towards biennial bearing, so if the tree sets a heavy crop, be sure to thin the fruitlets in June - this will improve the flavor of the remaining apples and help prevent the tree becoming biennial.

Advice on fruit tree pollination.


Spigold was developed by the New York State Agricultural Experiment Station and released in 1962. It is a cross between Golden Delicious and Red Spy, a red-colored sport of Northern Spy. The motivation was to produce a grower-friendly tree with some of the unique "Spy" flavor.

Spigold characteristics

  • Gardening skillAverage
  • Self-fertilityNot self-fertile
  • Pollination group4
  • Pollinating othersPoor
  • Picking seasonLate
  • UsesEating freshJuice
  • Keeping (of fruit)3 months or more
  • FireblightSome resistance
  • Cedar apple rustVery susceptible
  • Cold hardiness (USDA)Zone 4 (-34C)
  • Summer maximum temperaturesCool ( 20-24C / 68-75F)Warm (25-30C / 76-85F)
  • Country of originUnited States
  • Period of origin1950 - 1999

Similar varieties

  • See also Northern Spy
    Northern Spy
    Northern Spy is a popular late-season American heirloom apple variety which stores well.
  • See also Novaspy
    An improved form of Northern Spy, and an excellent all-round apple for northern areas.